So close, yet so far away

December 24, 2008

A couple weeks ago (dec 13th) I did the Tucson Marathon.  In typical fashion, I’ve only gotten to blogging about it two weeks later. 

It was the culmination of all my training this year: an attempt at a Boston Qualifier on a fast, downhill course.  Coming off of my run at the Harrisburg marathon only a month earlier, I had some confidence going in – there I had run the BQ pace (7:15/mile, a 3:10 marathon)  through 13 miles, and wasn’t far from it through 16 miles (3:11 pace), before falling to a 3:14 pace at 20 mile, and hitting the wall there, dropping to finish at a 3:27.  It was a confidence builder, however, since it was the first time I held that pace for that long, and it was on a flat course.  Tucson is a notoriously downhill, fast, Boston Qualifier course, so I thought that the fitness gains I had made leading up to the race, combined with a more favorable course would be just enough to get me my BQ.  

I had one injury concern leading up to the race.  To prepare my body for the downhill course, I did some downhill repeats in the weeks leading up to it.  I knew it was a bit of a risk, but I thought to get a BQ, it was a risk I had to take.  It did not pay off, rather, I hurt my lower back, glutes & hamstring.   Thankfully, the hamstring trouble ending up going away pretty quickly, but the lower back & glute pain persisted.  I had some chiropractic adjustments, and curtailed some of my mileage, but it continued to be an on-off problem.   I went easy on a particularly important weekend – two weeks after Harrisburg, two weeks before Tucson, right in that sweet spot between recovering from one race and tapering for the next.  I did manage to get a good 8 mile long-tempo run in a week before the race, which went well.  I came in at a 57 mins, a 7:06 pace.  The miles came easy, and I finished strong, with my last mile in a 6:16.  Leading up to the race I went easy, but even a little 3 mile run on a treadmill was enough to aggravate it.  The injury on a whole was rather minor, not a lot of pain, rather, just some discomfort, but it can be hard to know how something will hold up after 26.2 miles, especially on a downhill course.  

The Race

The day began with my first and only complaint about the organization of the race – the burden of getting to the start.  The traffic getting to the shuttles that would take us to the start was just horrible, but not entirely unexpected.  Once we got there, we found the correct shuttle, and waited on the bus for forty minutes.  We ended up getting to the race start just 20 minutes before the start.  I typically like to have an hour, so I can use the rest room (takes a long time w/ those lines!) and warm up.  Of course, this wasn’t ideal, but I did have enough time to run around a little bit while shedding my warm up clothes, putting them in my drop bag, putting that on a drop bag bus, and to give some dry desert plants some much needed moisture 🙂

 

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Gigantic Recap

December 1, 2008

Have I really not updated since September 10th?  I kind of wish I updated more consistently, to keep you all along on my journey toward a Boston qualifier, but unfortunately I have not.  Better too busy running to blog then the other way around, right?  

Anyway, just thought I do a big recap of some of the key runs I’ve had in the past couple of months, as I start to get ready for my final marathon of the season.  

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